ATC201118: Report of the Select Committee on Health and Social Services on the Filling of Vacancies to the Central Drug Authority (CDA) Board, Dated 18 November 2020

NCOP Health and Social Services



The Select Committee on Health and Social Services (hereinafter the Select Committee) and the Portfolio Committee on Social Developmenthaving considered the request by the Speaker to the National Assembly (ATCdated 28 May 2018), to fill vacancies for persons to serve on the board of the Central Drug Authority (CDA), report as follows:




The CDA is a statutory body, established in terms of the Prevention of and Treatment for Substance Abuse Act (No.70 of 2008) as amended. Its functions are to give effect to the National Drug Master Plan (NDMP) in accordance with the guidelines set out therein; advise the Minister on any matter affecting the abuse of drugs referred to the CDA by the Minister for advice, and may advise the Minister on any matter on which the CDA considers it necessary; and it may plan, co-ordinate and promote measures relating to the prevention and combating of the abuse of drugs and the treatment of persons dependent on drugs in accordance with the NDMP. 


A member of the CDA shall be appointed for a period not exceeding five (5) years, and upon such conditions as the Minister may determine at the time of making the appointment: provided that the period of office of a member may at any time be terminated by the Minister.


In terms of Section 53(3)(b) of the Act the parliamentary committees for Social Development within the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces are tasked to shortlist, interview and submit recommendations to the Minister of Social Development for the purpose of appointing suitable candidates to serve on the CDA. This must be done in a transparent and open process.


A request from the Minister of Social Development to fill thirteen (13) vacancies at the CDA, was jointly referred to the Portfolio Committee on Social Development and the Select Committee on Social Services on 25 April 2018 (see ATC No. 70, dated 28 May 2018). 




On 6 March 2019, the Portfolio Committee on Social Development resolved to extend the term of office of CDA members for a period of six months (1 April 2019 to 30 September 2019). Due to time constraints and other priorities the Committeeswere not able to start with the recruitment process as per the request mentioned above. The 5th term of Parliament ended inMarch 2019, which halted the process. The process resumed in August 2019.


On 27 August 2019, the Sub-Committee received a briefing from the Department of Social Development on the appointment of members to serve on the CDA.It resolved that due to time that had lapsed from when the call for nomination was advertised by the Department to the time of the meeting, the Department should re-advertise to avoid legal implications of extending the term of the Board yet again. Further, the Sub-Committee agreed that the process should be expedited. The Committee then extended the term of the board until end of January 2020 or until the appointment of the new board or whichever came first.


In line with Section 53(3)(a) of the Prevention of and Treatment for Substance Abuse Act (No. 70 of 2008), the Department of Social Development sent out a call for nominations of candidates for the appointment to the CDA. The Act requires the Minister of Social Development, through the media and by notice in the Gazette,invite nominations of persons to be members of the CDA.


At the beginning of October 2019, the Department advertised in various local, regional and national newspapers, inviting applications for persons to serve on the CDA. According to the advert, members to the CDA must have qualifications in social sciences, medical field, theology, law, education or any other relevant qualification. Members must have Grade 12 and 6 years’ experience in either of the following areas in the field of substance abuse:

  • Research
  • Prevention services
  • Early intervention services,
  • Treatment services,
  • Reintegration services,
  • Aftercare services,
  • Law enforcement,
  • Medico-pharmacology and,
  • Monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment.


The deadline for applications was 31 October 2019.


The Department forwarded the new curricula vitae(CVs) of candidates to the Sub-Committee in February 2020. A total of 64 applications were received. Due to clashing programming of the two Houses of Parliament (NA and NCOP), the Sub-Committee was only able to meet on 18 August 2020.




  1. Establishment of the Sub-Committee


The Sub-Committee on the appointment of the CDA members was established in terms of the NA Rule 172 and NCOP Rule 106. In terms of the Rules, the Sub-Committee must report its activities to the principal committees – the Select Committee,and the Portfolio Committee on Social Development. The Sub-Committee was chaired by both Chairpersons(of the Select Committee on Health and Social Services, andPortfolio Committee on Social Development).


  1. Composition of Members of the Sub-Committee


A Sub-Committee was formed, constituting a representative panel of eight (8) members - four (4) members from each Committee as follows:





African National Congress

Mr M Gungubele  [Chairperson]

Ms M Gillion (Western Cape) [Chairperson]

Mr D Stock

Ms AD Maleka (Mpumalanga)

Democratic Alliance

Ms B Masango

Ms D Christians (Northern Cape)

Economic Freedom Fighters

Ms D Ngwenya*

Ms S Lehihi (North West)**


*Ms L Arriesreplaced Ms D Ngwenya as an Alternative Member during the three days of the interview process.

** Ms S Lehihi could not participate in the interview process due to ill health.


  1. Selection Criteria for Shortlisting


Following thorough scrutiny of the CVs, the Sub-Committee unanimously shortlisted 26 candidates (from the received 64 nominations and CVs).


The selection criteria for the shortlisting of candidates was discussed in an open meeting. The first phase of shortlisting took place on 11 September 2020 and led to a preliminary shortlist of 41 candidates. Subsequently, the Sub-Committee completed the shortlisting process on 18 Septemberand shortlisted26 candidates.


The following criteria was used for screening and shortlisting:

  • A South African citizen;
  • Knowledge (mandate of CDA, Prevention of and Treatment for Substance Abuse Act (No. 70 of 2008) and experience on substance abuse interventions;
  • Sound judgement, high integrity, reliability, independence, team player and commitment to serve the CDA mission and goals; and
  • Good governance experience.



  1. Publication of CVs on Parliamentary Website


Candidates’ CVs were published on the parliamentary website on 28 September 2020 for openness and transparency purposes.




All 26 shortlisted candidates were subjected to an academic qualification verification check, and security clearance.On 2 November 2020, the Sub-Committee held a closed meeting where it considered the final reports on qualification verification check and security clearance as well as a legal opinion.The Sub-Committee was informed that two candidates withdrew, one candidate did not submit proof of her matric certificate and two had criminal records.


The Sub-Committee was advised by the Parliamentary Legal Services that it must recommend individuals that are sufficiently honest, have integrity, are reliable and therefore “fit and proper person” to be appointed onto the CDA. Based on the legal advice, the Sub-Committee agreed to exclude the two candidates with criminal records and the one who did not submit proof of her matric certificate. It was indicated that the honesty, integrity, reliabilityof a person is screened or interrogated to determine whether such a person is indeed a “fit and proper person” to form part of the CDA. The Sub-Committee was advised that it may recommend more than 13 candidates as it does not have powers to appoint members to serve on the CDA.




The Sub-Committee decided on an interview guideline to ensure that the interview process is fair and within the ambit of the CDA mandate. The following interview guidelines were adopted:

  • Introduction by a candidate
  • Knowledge (mandate of the Act and challenges faced by the CDA)
  • National Drug Master Plan (NDMP)
  • Good governance principles
  • Sector knowledge and experience
  • Current affairs


The Sub-Committee also agreed on an interview that takes 45 minutes to an hour per candidate, which allowed for at least 11 questions. In addition, follow-up questions could be asked by any Member, to seek further clarity from a candidate.


The Sub-Committee interviewed twenty-one (21) candidates between 3 and 5 November 2020at Parliament.The names of the candidates are as follows:

  1. Mr Johannes Theodorus Claassen
  2. Ms Rachel Mmadikeledi Motsepe
  3. Ms Dareleen James
  4. Ms Nomathemba Elaine Kela
  5. Ms Nyameka Mayathula-Khoza
  6. Rev. Dr Nwamilorho Joseph Tshawane
  7. Ms Michelene Merlin Smith
  8. Ms Nomcebo Alice Dlamini
  9. Dr Gurunathen Kistnasamy
  10. Mr Samasivan Pillay
  11. Ms Zanamuhla Primrose Khanyile
  12. Ms Meisie Sinnah Ramakhula
  13. Ms Ntaoleng Christina Molefe
  14. Mr Thabo Zacharia Morabe
  15. Mr Devon Clife de Koker
  16. Ms Elna Japisa Mathonsi
  17. Ms Dimakatso Jane Thema
  18. Ms Alexandrina Vermeulen
  19. Rev. Mlahleki Reuben Sokana
  20. Ms Matlhogonolo Sobeng Sophia Maboe
  21. Mr Peter Ucko


During the interviews, all 21 candidates were assessed based on the interview guidelines. The Sub-Committee agreed that only Members who participated in the interview process will be eligible to deliberate in the process of recommending suitable candidates to the CDA and to report to the principal Committees.




On 13 November 2020, the Sub-Committee considered the draft report on the entire recruitment process. It also deliberated on the letter of grievance it received from one candidate. It resolved not to deliberate on the letter and wait for legal advice. It then recommended thirteen candidates.


In accordance with the Prevention of and Treatment for Substance Abuse Act (No. 70 of 2008), the Select Committee on the recommendation by the Sub-Committee resolves that the following thirteen (13) candidates be recommended to both Houses of Parliament,to be appointed by the Minister of Social Development to serve the CDA for a period of five years:


  1. Mr Devon Clife De Koker
  2. Mr Peter Ucko
  3. Ms Elna Japisa Mathonsi
  4. Mr Thabo Zacharia Morabe
  5. Ms Nyameka Mayathula-Khoza
  6. Ms Matlhogonolo Sobeng Sophia Maboe
  7. Ms Rachel Mmadikeledi Motsepe
  8. Ms Nomcebo Alice Dlamini
  9. Mr Samasivan Pillay
  10. Ms Dareleen James
  11. Dr Gurunathen Kistnasamy
  12. Ms Nomathemba Elaine Kela
  13. Rev. Mlahleki Reuben Sokana




The Select Committee would like to assure citizens that it has complied with all sections of the Act in its recommendation of candidates for the appointment to serve on the CDA.


Report to be considered.



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